13 Works

Data from: Basal metabolic rate can evolve independently of morphological and behavioural traits

Kimberley J. Mathot, Katrin Martin, Bart Kempenaers & Wolfgang Forstmeier
Quantitative genetic analyses of basal metabolic rate (BMR) can inform us about the evolvability of the trait by providing estimates of heritability but also of genetic correlations with other traits that may constrain the ability of BMR to respond to selection. Here we studied a captive population of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) in which selection lines for male courtship rate have been established. We measure BMR in these lines to see whether selection on male...

Data from: Haplotype structure, adaptive history and associations with exploratory behaviour of the DRD4 gene region in four great tit (Parus major) populations

Jakob C. Mueller, Peter Korsten, Christine Hermannstädter, Thomas Feulner, Niels J. Dingemanse, Erik Matthysen, Kees Van Oers, Thijs Van Overveld, Samantha C. Patrick, John L. Quinn, Matthias Riemenschneider, Joost M. Tinbergen, Bart Kempenaers & Christine Hermannstaedter
The assessment of genetic architecture and selection history in genes for behavioural traits is fundamental to our understanding of how these traits evolve. The dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene is a prime candidate for explaining genetic variation in novelty seeking behaviour, a commonly assayed personality trait in animals. Previously we showed that a single nucleotide polymorphism in exon 3 of this gene is associated with exploratory behaviour in at least one of four Western European...

Data from: An integrative approach to detect subtle trophic niche differentiation in the sympatric trawling bat species Myotis dasycneme and Myotis daubentonii

Frauke Krüger, Elizabeth L. Clare, Stefan Greif, Bjoern M. Siemers, William O. C. Symondson & Robert S. Sommer
Bats are well known for species richness and ecological diversity thus they provide a good opportunity to study relationships and interaction between species. To assess interactions we consider distinct traits which are likely to be triggered by niche shape and evolutionary processes. We present data on the trophic niche differentiation between two sympatric European trawling bat species, Myotis dasycneme and M. daubentonii, incorporating a wide spectrum of methodological approaches. We measure morphological traits involved in...

Data from: The early bird gets the worm: foraging strategies of wild songbirds lead to the early discovery of food sources

Damien R. Farine & Stephen D. J. Lang
Animals need to manage the combined risks of predation and starvation in order to survive. Theoretical and empirical studies have shown that individuals can reduce predation risk by delaying feeding (and hence fat storage) until late afternoon. However little is known about how individuals manage the opposing pressures of resource uncertainty and predation risks. We suggest that individuals should follow a two-part strategy: prioritising the discovery of food early in the day and exploiting the...

Data from: Trophic niche flexibility in Glossophaga soricina: how a nectar seeker sneaks an insect snack

Elizabeth L. Clare, Holger R. Goerlitz, Violaine A. Drapeau, Marc W. Holderied, Amanda M. Adams, Juliet Nagel, Elizabeth R. Dumont, Paul D. N. Hebert & M. Brock Fenton
Omnivory enables animals to fill more than one trophic niche, providing access to a wider variety of food resources with potentially higher nutrient value, particularly when resources become scarce. Animals can achieve omnivory using different strategies, for example opportunistic foraging, or switching between multiple trophic niches. The Neotropical bat Glossophaga soricina (Pallas, 1766) is a common and widespread species known for nectar-feeding, but it also eats fruit and insects. Approaching stationary objects (flowers and fruits)...

Data from: Candidate gene polymorphisms for behavioural adaptations during urbanization in blackbirds

Jakob C. Mueller, Jesko Partecke, Ben J. Hatchwell, Kevin J. Gaston & Karl L. Evans
Successful urban colonisation by formerly rural species represents an ideal situation in which to study adaptation to novel environments. We address this issue using candidate genes for behavioural traits that are expected to play a role in such colonisation events. We identified and genotyped 16 polymorphisms in candidate genes for circadian rhythms, harm avoidance, and migratory and exploratory behaviour in 12 paired urban and rural populations of the blackbird Turdus merula across the Western Palearctic....

Data from: Characterizing behavioural ‘characters’: an evolutionary framework

Yimen G. Araya-Ajoy & Niels J. Dingemanse
Biologists often study phenotypic evolution assuming that phenotypes consist of a set of quasi-independent units that have been shaped by selection to accomplish a particular function. In the evolutionary literature, such quasi-independent functional units are called ‘evolutionary characters’, and a framework based on evolutionary principles has been developed to characterize them. This framework mainly focuses on ‘fixed’ characters, i.e. those that vary exclusively between individuals. In this paper, we introduce multi-level variation and thereby expand...

Data from: Artificial light at night advances avian reproductive physiology

Davide M. Dominoni, Michael Quetting & Jesko Partecke
Artificial light at night is a rapidly increasing phenomenon and it is presumed to have global implications. Light at night has been associated with health problems in humans as a consequence of altered biological rhythms. Effects on wild animals have been less investigated, but light at night has often been assumed to affect seasonal cycles of urban dwellers. Using light loggers attached to free-living European blackbirds (Turdus merula), we first measured light intensity at night...

Data from: Environmental and genetic control of brain and song structure in the zebra finch

Joseph Luke Woodgate, Katherine L. Buchanan, Andrew T. D. Bennett, Clive K. Catchpole, Roswitha Brighton, Stefan Leitner & Andrew T.D. Bennett
Birdsong is a classic example of a learned trait with cultural inheritance, with selection acting on trait expression. To understand how song responds to selection, it is vital to determine the extent to which variation in song learning and neuroanatomy is attributable to genetic variation, environmental conditions, or their interactions. Using a partial cross fostering design with an experimental stressor, we quantified the heritability of song structure and key brain nuclei in the song control...

Data from: Biparental incubation patterns in a high-Arctic breeding shorebird: how do pairs divide their duties?

Martin Bulla, Mihai Valcu, Anne L. Rutten & Bart Kempenaers
In biparental species, parents may be in conflict over how much they invest into their offspring. To understand this conflict, parental care needs to be accurately measured, something rarely done. Here, we quantitatively describe the outcome of parental conflict in terms of quality, amount and timing of incubation throughout the 21 day incubation period in a population of semipalmated sandpipers (Calidris pusilla) breeding under continuous daylight in the High Arctic. Incubation quality, measured by egg...

Data from: Horizontal transmission of the father’s song in the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

Sébastien Derégnaucourt, Manfred Gahr & S. Deregnaucourt
As is the case for human speech, birdsong is transmitted across generations by imitative learning. Although transfer of song patterns from adults to juveniles typically occurs via vertical or oblique transmission, there is also evidence of horizontal transmission between juveniles of the same generation. Here, we show that a young male zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) that has been exposed to its father during the sensitive period for song learning can lead a brother, that has...

Data from: When the sun never sets: diverse activity rhythms under continuous daylight in free-living arctic-breeding birds

Silke S. Steiger, Mihai Valcu, Kamiel Spoelstra, Barbara Helm, Martin Wikelski & Bart Kempenaers
Circadian clocks are centrally involved in the regulation of daily behavioural and physiological processes. These clocks are synchronized to the 24 h day by external cues (Zeitgeber), the most important of which is the light–dark cycle. In polar environments, however, the strength of the Zeitgeber is greatly reduced around the summer and winter solstices (continuous daylight or continuous darkness). How animals time their behaviour under such conditions has rarely been studied in the wild. Using...

Data from: Individual-based measurements of light intensity provide new insights into the effects of artificial light at night on daily rhythms of urban-dwelling songbirds

Davide M. Dominoni, Esther O. Carmona-Wagner, Michaela Hofmann, Bart Kranstauber & Jesko Partecke
1. The growing interest in the effects of light pollution on daily and seasonal cycles of animals has led to a boost of research in recent years. In birds, it has been hypothesized that artificial light at night can affect daily aspects of behaviour, but one caveat is the lack of knowledge about the light intensity that wild animals, such as birds, are exposed to during the night. 2. Organisms have naturally evolved daily rhythms...

Registration Year

  • 2013

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
  • Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie
  • Cardiff University
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Konstanz
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • University of Antwerp
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Groningen
  • University of Guelph